U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is preparing some domestic offices to reopen and resume non-emergency public services on or after June 4. On March 18, USCIS temporarily suspended routine in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to protect our workforce and the public.
While certain offices are temporarily closed, USCIS continues to provide limited emergency in-person services. Please call the USCIS Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.
As services begin to reopen, offices will reduce the number of appointments and interviews to ensure social distancing, allow time for cleaning and reduce waiting room occupancy. Appointment notices will contain information on safety precautions that visitors to USCIS facilities must follow.
A Hong Kong court that had struck down a ban on face masks at protests said Friday that the government could enforce it for one week, as police readied for any unrest during keenly contested elections this weekend.
The High Court granted the temporary suspension “in view of the great public importance of the issues raised in this case, and the highly exceptional circumstances that Hong Kong is currently facing.”
Anti-government protests have rocked the semi-autonomous Chinese city for more than five months. Protesters remained holed up on a university campus, refusing to turn themselves in for arrest after intense clashes with police last weekend.
The court had ruled Monday that the ban, imposed last month under rarely used emergency powers to prevent protesters from hiding their identity, infringed on fundamental rights more than was reasonably necessary.
China’s parliament rebuked the court ruling this week, in what some interpreted as an indication it might overrule the decision.
In granting the one-week reprieve, the High Court said it was giving the government time to appeal the decision and seek a longer suspension from the Court of Appeal.
Government lawyers go to federal court Tuesday to seek dismissal of a lawsuit by developers of the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine who are seeking to regain their mineral rights leases.
The Obama administration last year declined to renew the longstanding leases that Twin Metals needs for the underground mine near Ely in northeastern Minnesota. The government cited the potential harm to the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Twin Metals sued last fall to get those leases back, saying it has already invested $400 million, while its congressional supporters are trying to persuade the Trump administration to reverse that decision.
The government argues that the U.S. District Court for Minnesota should dismiss the lawsuit because it's a contract dispute that must be brought in the Court of Federal Claims.
An Indian court on Thursday sentenced two men to death and two others to life in prison for a series of bombings that killed 257 people in Mumbai in 1993. A fifth man was given 10 years in prison.
The five men were convicted earlier of criminal conspiracy and murder in the planting of 12 powerful bombs in cars, scooters and suitcases around India's financial capital.
The sentencing ended a second trial related to the bombings. An initial trial ended in 2007 with more than 100 people convicted, of whom 11 were sentenced to death and the rest to various terms in prison.
Ujjwal Nikam, the main prosecutor, said he could not ask for a death sentence for Abu Salem, a prime suspect, because he was extradited from Portugal to India in 2005 after the Indian government pledged he would not be given the death penalty, a key requirement in extradition proceedings in Europe.
He fled India after the bombings and was later arrested by police in Portugal.
The Mumbai court sentenced Salem to life in prison after finding him guilty of transporting weapons from Gujarat state to Mumbai ahead of the blasts. These included AK-56 assault rifles, ammunition and hand grenades.
Prosecutors said the bombings were an act of revenge for the 1992 demolition of a 16th century mosque by Hindu nationalists in northern India. That triggered religious riots in parts of India, leaving more than 800 dead, both Hindus and Muslims.
The blasts targeted a number of prominent sites in Mumbai, including the stock exchange, Air India building, hotels, a cinema and shopping bazaars.
Prosecutors said the attack was masterminded by underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim. India accuses Pakistan of sheltering Ibrahim, a charge Islamabad denies. India says he has been living in Karachi, Pakistan's financial hub, after fleeing from Mumbai, and has asked Pakistan to hand him over to face trial in India.